Several of YG Entertainment’s star idols found themselves embroiled in major scandals this year. Media outlet site Dispatch ran a story earlier this week where they published a Kakao chat conversation between rapper B.I. (given name Hanbin) and a female drugdealer named A.
B.I. appeared to haggle with A over prices for LSD. He also describes desiring to do drugs every day and hallucinate. A warns him several not to inquire about drugs via Kakao. B.I. then beseeches her to delete the conversation.
Drug use is a hugely punishable offense in South Korea, so the allegations and evidence that B.I. may have purchased LSD in 2016 effectively ended his career. YG Entertainment effectively cut ties with B.I., and he announced he would be stepping down from Ikon shortly after.
Now, B.I.’s many fans are urging his label to reconsider and reverse their decision. They launched a petition on Change.org. They cite the lack of an actual drug arrest or a positive drug test result as evidence that B.I. may have purchased or talked about purchasing the drugs, but that he never actually went through with it.
They also feel outraged that YG terminated B.I.’s contract relatively quickly compared to other artists who have had rumors or press regarding drug usage or misconduct.
The petition rapidly gained momentum and at the time of this article’s writing, had accumulated over 700,000 E-Signatures.
Some fans felt that YG was jumping the gun on tabloid rumors. Others wonder if they dismissed B.I. because there is an even greater scandal brewing beneath the surface.
YG previously cut ties with Korean idol Seungri after he was found to have illegally recorded sexual encounters with his partners and distributed it to his friends. Seungri and his associates, many of them other K-Pop stars, were found to have engaged in a culture of sexism, prostitution, drug trafficking, and molka, the Korean term for illegal spycam pornography.